Nope, this isn’t a hoax. You’ve heard of American Idol. Now AirAsia is launching a search for a “virtual idol” – a content creator and streamer who will appear only as a digital avatar – under its new venture called Project Kavvaii.
If you’re still confused about what a virtual idol is, think back to the 2002 movie Simone, where a Hollywood director played by Al Pacino turns a computer program in the form of an attractive woman (Simone) into an acting superstar. In our real world, AirAsia is auditioning for the ‘program’s’ voice actor.
While that sounds vaguely dystopian and creepy, it’s not (entirely) a crazy idea. According to AFP, virtual idols are wildly popular in places such as China and Japan, often drawing millions of passionate fans.
And passionate is the right word here. One Chinese fan in his twenties told AFP, “You can’t see what they are like in real life, so you can have more fantasies about them.” So maybe AirAsia is on the verge of striking gold here?
AirAsia is promising its first virtual idol a complete streaming setup, full access to a support team, and a one-year contract with the company as a paid content creator. Streaming is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year.
The company credited renowned illustrator Yueko for the digital avatar, adding that the character will be rigged and animated by industry veteran Iron Vertex to fit the personality of the virtual idol.
If that tickles your fancy, you can apply from today until 28 March 2021. AirAsia looks like it’s casting a very wide net, opening the audition to “Asean and the rest of Asia.”
Applicants will have to submit a five-minute video to introduce themselves. Further information is available on the official Project Kavvaii webpage.
Ever since the airliner’s main business took a beating from Covid-19, AirAsia has been aggressively trying to rebrand and reinvent itself, branching out into new industries. Still, this has to be the most bizarre thing AirAsia has ever embarked on – by far.